Why You Should Consider Designing a UX Style Guide

Two decades ago Watts Humphrey said, “Every business is a software business” and that has never been truer than today. Software has become such an important part of almost every organization. Large organizations have dozens or even hundreds of software applications that support workflows, gather information, analyze data, provide visibility and connect with customers, employees, and partners.

So, what’s changed? To start with, UX and front-end development aren’t “nice to have”anymore—they are recognized as essential to the success of software apps—at least those that have end users. The fields have grown, and the modular system of front-end development have emerged.

• Front-end UI frameworks have emerged. Bootstrap, Foundation and Semantic UI provide
• The collective level of UX awareness and skill has increased and “UX design” has become a common field of study.

And, the average person has been exposed to hundreds of apps that provide reference patterns and have helped to shape expectations and preferences.

Creating and managing software—especially when working across teams, technology stacks, timelines, projects, time zones, and languages—is complex, to say the least. As leaders, we try to focus the energy of our teams where it will have the most impact. Enter in UX style guides, a now commonplace deliverable that defines the standards for ensuring a solid design. A UX style guide gives design guidance—and associated code components—for UI elements and interactions.

Food for thought: Why allow your team’s energy to be used designing error validation messages (for example) when they could simply reuse standard language constructs and visual style from a style guide?

To understand the design process in more detail and to learn how a local utility benefited from creating a UX style guide, check out the use case here:


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